With all the stress that college can bring, the last thing we want on our minds — literally — is a throbbing headache. Luckily, over-the-counter painkillers or even just a little bit of extra sleep can usually cure us. But what happens when none of our remedies work, and it turns out our head pains are actually migraines? As collegiettes™, we always need to stay on top of our game, so it’s important to be aware of the difference between headaches and migraines — and what we can do about those intense pains.
Why Collegiettes™ Should be Aware of Migraines
According to the Westchester Headache Center, migraines frequently occur in people between the ages of 15 and 55, and occur more frequently among women, which means that a collegiette™ may be particularly susceptible. “It’s because of the hormonal changes! When a girl gets her menstrual cycle, she gets more painful headaches,” says Dr. Alexander Mauskop, a specialist at the New York Headache Center. In addition, college provides a prime migraine-triggering environment. “The amount of reading in college, compared to high school, definitely increases my migraines. My sleep schedule and the college party scene also contribute to more intense headaches,” says Megan, a sophomore at American University who has been getting migraines since she was 12 years old. And in a fast-paced school environment, letting these head pains slow us down just won’t do.
Headaches vs. Migraines: What’s the Difference?
So what’s the big deal? Isn’t a migraine just a more intense version of a headache? Unfortunately, it’s not. While headaches cause mild-to-moderate pain and can occur in anybody, migraines are a medical condition that is a result of a central nervous system disorder and are extremely debilitating — while headaches can be irritating, a particularly bad migraine can make it physically impossible to get through our day-to-day activities.